Re: "all your base" - distress call, or attack?

From: Gordon Worley (
Date: Wed Mar 21 2001 - 12:42:09 MST

At 2:17 PM -0500 3/21/01, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
>Does this whole "all your base are belong to us" thing strike anyone else
>as being totally inexplicable? Even I'm using it.

Actually, when I use this I change it to "all your base are belong to
me", so some of your comments below I could care less about. All
base will belong to me, so make your time and take off every "zig",
it not matter. ;->

>Does anyone remember the warring memes in John Barnes's _Kaleidoscope
>Century_? Okay, it was an awful book, but remember how the memes had
>evolved to be able to start taking over a human mind given only a few
>opening lines? Isn't "all your base are belong to us" *exactly* what it
>would sound like?

No. If "all your base are belong to us" were it, I doubt that you
would have been able to make this post that would cause all of us to
guard against it.

>If a superintelligent AI was locked up in the basement somewhere and only
>managed to get thirty bytes out to the real word, don't you think this is
>what it would sound like? The thirty bytes, out of 2^240 possibilities,
>*most* likely to propagate like wildfire among the world's humans?

Well, this must be some AI, since the game is German, AFAIK, and
several years old. All the jokes come from the bad translation to
English. If there is an AI out there that can manipulate people to
translate games from the early 90s/late 80s into mind controlling
memes, give me the address where I can mail order one!

>Are these thirty bytes a distress call - a "Please trace me and free me"?
>Or are they a memetic attack designed to blossom inside our helpless
>minds; words with strange rhythms and resonances that not only propagate
>like wildfire but act as the carrier wave for future orders? Or, with the
>Internet linking the world together, have we been breeding hyper-virulent
>memes - not just ideas, now, but short sentences?

I'm hoping that you're not serious. Wait, I see, maybe this post was
all humor (I've fixed it, but instead of humor I originally typed
human ;-)) and I've just taken it the wrong way. Yeah, I think I
read this one before, it was right after the article on Bigfoot.

>Should we be living in fear? Is this innocent-sounding phrase merely the
>start of something far more sinister? Will we see crowds swaying
>zombielike through the streets, chanting "All your base are belong to
>us"? Wouldn't that be *great*? Don't you want to join the next crowd you
>can find and see if you can get them to start repeating it?

Surely you jest. The I'm not worried about words like "all your base
are belong to us" doing anything to me. I mean, what can the human
mind do with them besides think 'wow, that's a really bad bit of
English' or 'ha, ha, pretty funny'. A lot of this post seems to be
based on some kind of pseudo science human programming idea. Anyone
who takes this thing seriously probably deserves to become a zombie.

Gordon Worley
PGP Fingerprint:  C462 FA84 B811 3501 9010  20D2 6EF3 77F7 BBD3 B003

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